bike commuting

August 24, 2014

Open Letter to a Motorist

Dear Motorist,

On a recent ride, I came closer to getting hit by a vehicle than I’ve ever come in my life… I felt the sideview mirror of your 1990s burgundy Dodge Caravan brush my left elbow as you sped by me!

In the seconds after, I struggled with what just happened. I questioned if I’d been out of line, maybe too far from the curb, but I wasn’t. I gave you lots of room, and the two cars that had passed me moments before you, confirmed that – you had room. I also questioned if you were really going that fast, but I could still hear the sound of your engine revving up in my ears… No, you sped up as you drove by, through that construction zone going north on 121 St near Fox Drive, coming needlessly close to me, and you put my life at risk when you did!

– Read More –

March 24, 2011

Bikes in Japan

When I lived in Japan, it was impossible not to notice what a major role bikes play in day-to-day life. They aren’t at all seen as ‘toys’ or a way to stay-fit, like we see them here. I didn’t see any roadies in skin suits out on training rides. I didn’t see hipsters on single-speeds hangin’ at the coffee shops, or BMX-ers in the parks building dirt jumps. In fact, oddly enough, single-speeds may actually have banned there – though I’m not sure about that. Instead it seemed to me that the Japanese see bikes as purely a practiacal means of transportation –  you see the Japanese wearing business suits as they ride to work, or balancing their kid in a bike seat as they also carry groceries home from the local markets. Near almost every train/subway station in Tokyo, you’ll find a massive bike-rack/lot, just PACKED with bikes (see photo – it’s nuts!). In a city like Tokyo, with a daytime population of more than 27 million, bikes free people from the extraordinary costs of owning, parking and operating a vehicle in such a space-starved metropolis. Even with the amazing public transportation system that they have, and believe me, it is amazing – bikes are still a common choice for transportation. – Read More –